USPS OIG: Delivery Scanning Issues

U.S. Postal Service delivery points are increasing each year. Package volumes are rising steadily as well. And so are customer expectations. This paradigm tends to lead to an increase in customer complaints, especially when delivery performance doesn’t meet expectations.

Given these pressures, we are seeing an increasing risk in the areas of delivery and retail performance. Our audit teams are designed to quickly evaluate delivery and retail operations and provide meaningful results to Postal Service management and our stakeholders. Relying heavily on data analytics, teams target high-risk delivery and retail units based on a series of operational factors and trip wires, tools that let us focus on one or two data points to identify events that indicate a high likelihood of control weaknesses.

For example, we have seen an increase of delivery scanning issues at various post offices and annexes, where carriers sort mail for delivery. We found carriers were improperly scanning packages as “delivered” while still at their post office rather than at the delivery point. The carriers reported a variety of reasons for the improper scans at their locations, including saving time, fearing they’d forget to scan, following management instructions, or simply trying to be efficient when many packages were going to a single business address.

We recommended that district managers instruct unit managers on working with their staffs to ensure they follow standard operating procedures for scanning mail pieces. See recent internal control audits on delivery, scanning issues, and customer service issues:

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Because address bar codes often scan and you dont notice the short number code when scanning multiples, the best way to ensure close to 100% is to scan each individually. This increases your odds of catching an errant scan, like something in your brain catches a forward while you case. 23 yrs carrier..